2008-07-29 12:50:26 GMT 2008-07-29 20:50:26 (Beijing Time) SINA.com
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - A former dormitory matron is going on trial Tuesday accused of abusing pupils at a school Oprah Winfrey established for disadvantaged girls in South Africa.
Tiny Virginia Makopo, 28, is expected to plead not guilty to charges of indecent assault, assault and criminal injury. Police say six teenage students and a fellow dormitory matron were abused over four months.
Prosecutor Etienne Venter said the six girls will give evidence in a session closed to the public.
He described the girls as "very scared and very, very emotional."
The trial is expected to run through Aug. 1.
Winfrey, who was a victim of child abuse herself, has promised an overhaul of the school and said she has apologized to parents.
Winfrey's $40 million school opened in January 2007. It is designed to groom girls for future leadership.